World Spirals Deeper Into Chaos as LeBron James Gets His Own Typeface
LeBron James, as you surely know, is a basketball player. He’s a point forward on the Cleveland Cavaliers, a position he once played for the Miami Heat. He’s also a husband, a father, and, with the founding of the LeBron James Family Foundation, a philanthropist.
Turns out, he’s also a typeface.
London-based studio Sawdust (a frequent contributor to WIRED) created LeBron James, the custom set of letters, for James, the athlete. The ask came down from Nike Basketball, which oversees and carries the LeBron James collection of shoes and apparel. To turn the man into a typeface, Jonathan Quainton and Rob Gonzalez, who together make up Sawdust, took cues from James’s existing logomark—a blocky ‘L’ abutting a ‘J,’ with a crown floating above the ascenders on each letter—and from James himself—a 6’8″ wall of muscle and force who’s won two NBA championships and four NBA MVP awards. The resulting typeface is broad, commanding, and athletic-looking. It has a low x-height and a shape that manages to be boxy without looking sluggish. It calls to mind a jersey as readily as it does a noble crest—a typeface to rule over all other typefaces.
It must be strange to see yourself personified as a set of bold letterforms, but James isn’t even the first athlete that Sawdust has whipped into a typeface; prior to this commission, Nike had them do the same for Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
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